Originally I was just going to list the ‘one man band’ makers with links to their sites, but then decided, why not expand it to include the larger companies. Note the lists are not comprehensive and I will add new makers as I am told about or discover them.Continue reading
While I had previously planned to review this pen it was for further down the line, partly due to a side project connected with the fountain pens for a fiver article, and partly due to other pens I wished to cover first. Spotting that the Helix Oxford is presently on sale at Asda (on the UK high street) for just £4.50 I felt now was the time to cover this pen while it can still be bought at the reduced price.Continue reading
Urushi pens are very much in vogue at the moment and there are more than a few artists using this as an excuse to move in a new direction and experiment. Some people like this, some people scream ‘cultural appropriation’, however what happens when a westerner has spent 20 years in Japan studying and working with this lacquer? Enter Ruth Bolton.Continue reading
A few months later than planned and in its new location, we finally had our first pen show for around a year and a half. Now migrated from the Holiday Inn near Russell Square to the Hammersmith Novotel, there must have been uncertainty over how the show would go. Less so over the new location and more down to the personal comfort factor now we’ve just come out of lock down and entering what is considered the ‘new norm’.Continue reading
Just a late reminder to all that the spring London Pen Show will be held tomorrow, Sunday the 25th of July 2021.
For those not aware it is at a new location:
Novotel London West
London, W6 8DR
For the regular tickets (£5 per person) the show hours are 10:00-16:00, early bird is still available (£10 per person) which will give you access from 09:00. Note kids under 13 have free entry.
There is limited parking at the hotel though I would recommend pre-booking, I’ve personally used JustPark, else it is within comfortable walking distance of the Hammersmith underground station.
You would have thought there was an important football coming up tomorrow (soccer to those of you from across the Atlantic), so for a bit of fun I gathered together a handful of pens to represent each side, along with suitable inks (with caveats). Some of these pens were already in my daily rotation/desk set, and some were an excuse to use up some samples I have taking up space.Continue reading
Shiny rainbow colours have always appealed to me. Be it looking through the coloured cellophane outer wrappers of Quality Street as a kid, Cokin coloured diffuser filter sheets (082A) (see pictures at the end) when I was experimenting with photography as a student, the TWSBI VAC 700R Iris from a few months back, and now the Gravitas Skittle. To be honest the first time I saw a picture of Ben Walsh’s multicoloured creation I felt the pangs of want. The inner Gollum in me whispered ‘my precious’. Sure it was available in both matt and shiny forms, but to me those rainbow colours must cry out loud, not stay muted. Just a shame he sold out quickly. Very quickly.Continue reading
I like pens with uniqueness and character, especially when coming from countries with reputations for living in the past and blatant copying, and as such the produce of the Mumbai based family business Magna Carta Pen have been on my radar for quite a while. With an ever expanding range Hiren Kanakhara has been bringing his own style and design language to the fountain pen world. With most being metal bodied and using cartridges/converters, it was his Elements range that caught my eye. Not just because of appearing to be longer and sleeker, but more due to the filling system, for the Sky, Water, and Earth Elements pens use a pneumatic filling system. With Magna Carta also producing their own nibs and ebonite feeds, this means this pen is produced near entirely in-house, with the one possible exception being the sac used in the filling mechanism.Continue reading
Originality in the fountain pen world is rare, so when a small maker from the Philippines managed it news travelled fast. Being individually hand made, few, so far have been lucky enough to get their hands on these pens. From what I can tell there are two models, the larger Una and this model, the Tala. Being a small company there is no website, instead Instagram is used to show their wares, so no product list but lots of shiny works in progress. By no intention of Kasama themselves these pens have become rather desirable due to limited numbers and lack of an obvious ordering system.Continue reading
Towards the end of 2020 rumours then photos started to appear that caused one of the biggest stirs in the fountain pen world for a long time. Word had it that Parker were relaunching the ’51’ almost 45 years after previous production was stopped. Pictures appeared and the reaction was not good, especially after it became known that the cap would be threaded and the pen would come with a steel nib. Accusations were made of design laziness and there were even rumours (later shown to be false) that it was just an existing pen from a Chinese cloning factory.Continue reading